Backcountry Skiing News Roundup

Post by blogger | November 5, 2009      
Backcountry Skiing News

Opinion varies on how much we should restrict mechanized use of non-wilderness land. But it’s clear that more restrictions on snowmobiles are likely. While all other motorized vehicles are highly regulated in USFS forest management plans, “over snow vehicles” are loopholed and not included with the other modes of transport. This is somewhat logical, as totally restricting snowmobiles to existing roads and trails would be a reach (for example, roads get obscured by snow or are not practical routes), and writing a specific management plan for sleds would be expensive and fraught with political landmines.

On the other hand, as snowmobile use inevitably increases so to will management of their land use. Mark Menlove and his group Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA) are pushing for that (the management part). Sometimes they push too hard for my taste (I’m more into sharing non-wilderness land), but their mission has merit. Here are some words from Mark.

Meanwhile, I’m ever more an advocate of ALL backcountry recreators coming together in some fashion to iron out their differences and put up a united front against things that might ruin it for everyone (say, something like a huge mining project, or yes, too much restrictive federal Wilderness). Here in our corner of Colorado, White River Forest Alliance might provide the best structure for that. While WRFA was founded as an access advocacy group from a mostly motorized perspective, they’re well aware of the earthquake we’ve had around here (west central Colorado) in people’s attitudes about how much legal Wilderness we need — this being especially true in the case of mountain bicycling. Hence, it’s possible they could shift to be more all-encompassing and do recreation advocacy for all forms of backcountry play.

As you all know, our stance here at is indeed one of recreation advocacy, so we’re watching groups such as WWA and WRFA to see which can be inclusive coalition builders for those of us who engage in multiple forms of recreation — motorized and non.

Well, as all you wildsnowers know, backcountry skiing and ski touring are God’s gift to the universe. The commercial resort skiing industry has of course caught on to that simple truth, and every year you see this or that resort promote their “backcountry skiing.” Some really do have what I’d define as “backcountry,” albeit lift served to some extent. While others just open up some rougher terrain, don’t groom it, perhaps require a short hike, then promote their “backcountry.” Take Cannon Mountain for example. This winter they’ll provide 86 acres with “no snowmaking, limited grooming,” and perhaps most importantly for that backcountry feel, “extensive rescue time.” I guess they’ll have to edit the disclaimer on their lift tickets. More here.

Now this is cool. David Ebner has less than two months to get in shape for a Selkirk Mountain Experience hut trip (read, mega vert). So he’s going on a scientific training binge to theoretically arrive at the hut fit enough to keep up with the Ruedi. Reminds me of what I’m doing with Denali, only I’ve got six months and my issue isn’t aerobics, but rather strength. Even so, I have to keep that cardio up. So after a nice bike ride yesterday it’s off to the pool this morning. I’m not that scientific, but do study up on this stuff and know that for me duration seems to be the key, as I get plenty of intensity just doing my normal day-to-day backcountry activites such as biking, hiking, and yes, skiing.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


37 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing News Roundup”

  1. Jordan November 5th, 2009 10:20 am

    Wow Lou! Walmart? I didn’t know they had a Deli.

  2. Le Pistoir November 5th, 2009 11:00 am

    six months is plenty of time to build in strength and it’s extremely beneficial to hauling loads up Denali. You won’t even need six months of weights; 12 weeks before you leave for AK, spend 45 mins/day 4x a week in the gym. Start with 2 weeks of light weights and 3 sets of 15-20 reps (without failure) just to get your body used to the work -anyone remember the time they overdid it on the squats and could barely walk for four days? then do 4-6 weeks of increasing weight with 3-6 sets of 4-6 reps, with failure on the final rep of the final set. This phase is more about maximum weight than total work. The finishing phase is focused on maintaining the strength you’ve built, but making it last over a longer duration event. Decrease weight to moderate, do 2 sets of 20-50 reps of things like lunges, single-leg box stands, clean and jerk, etc. You should be sweating and breathing hard by the end of the set, but not reaching muscle failure. Cardio-wise, you no doubt get plenty of overall duration, but you can try to extend the length of your longest continuous effort. Also, intensity is important, even if you aren’t going to don spandex and rando race up Denali. Pushing above your steady-pace intensity makes that long slog feel much easier and actually increases the speed you go for the same intensity i.e. fitness. Start this at least 8 weeks before your trip by doing your normal tour at a slightly higher pace than normal (not time-trialing, but pushing) or throw in some “fartlek” (speedplay) by surging up the last bit to the ridge or bursting past Louie on the skin track. I used this model in my own prep and remember passing parties that were double-carrying (only carrying half their stuff and making two trips between camps) while we single-carried (all our stuff in one haul).

  3. Clyde November 5th, 2009 11:13 am

    Quite a bit of outdated and useless stuff in that training advertisement. That sort of testing is a waste of time and money for nearly everyone IMHO. Rumor has it there’s a training book out there that has workouts in the back for Ski Mountaineering and High Mountain Expeditions. Wonder if you’ve seen it Lou….

  4. Randonnee November 5th, 2009 11:46 am

    Mr. Agent Provocateur! Quote, ” things that might ruin it for everyone (say, something like a huge mining project, or yes, too much restrictive federal Wilderness).” No rash of comments yet, however some folks may respond strongly…miners will be ticked off to be compared to Wilderness advocates! (ha ha, guffaw) : )}

  5. Tom Gos November 5th, 2009 12:06 pm

    Lou, I have read that a lot of climbers and all around mountain athletes swear by Crossfit training. You happen to have a Crossfit gym nearby (Basalt) so you might try that for six months. I’ve been intrigued with the concept of this sort of training for mountain sports but don’t have an affiliated gym nearby. I think it would be a good blog series for you to give this a try for six months and report how it prepared you for Denali. Perhaps they would give you the bro deal in exchange for some blog coverage.

  6. RB November 5th, 2009 12:20 pm

    Great Training Guide: Mark Twight, Extreme Alpinsim, format works great for me.

  7. Lou November 5th, 2009 2:10 pm

    That training article didn’t look like an advertorial to me, but if it was, my apologies. If their science is out of date, I feel sorry for the guy as when he encounters that massive daily vertical he might be off the back.

  8. Lou November 5th, 2009 2:13 pm

    Randonnee, at least someone saw that bit of acerbic wit (grin). But yeah, I guess that’ll be another punchy line in the speech I’ll never give, as in, what do Wilderness and massive mining projects have in common? Whoops, I can hear the flames crackling nearby! :devil:

  9. Mark Menlove November 5th, 2009 3:46 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Thanks for the plug. Yup, the notion of how hard to push, like the notion of how much to manage public lands, is always a balancing act. The backcountry is big and I don’t see any reason we can’t find a balance that provides for quiet use and motorized use.
    Randonnee, as for elitist or knee-jerk, sounds to me like the randopot calling the telekettle black, but no matter. I’ve logged my share of miles on a sled too, and (gasp!) have used em to access the backcountry on occasion. I have no problem admitting that snowmobiles have their place, but it isn’t every place. When it comes down to it I imagine we agree on more than we disagree. If you’re ever in Idaho look me up and we’ll go ski.

  10. Lou November 5th, 2009 5:58 pm

    As always, I’m uncomfortable with balkinizing our non-wilderness lands for different user groups. Some, yes. But the question to you Mark, is will your organization ever have enough done to disband? Or will you continue to push forever?

    White River NF, for example, is already at least 35% legal federal Wilderness. On top of that, thousands of acres of buffer zone and land inaccessible to snowmobiles is essentially unmechanized. On top of that, a huge amount of land is blocked from mechanized access by private land with trail easements that only allow foot travel. One example of this is Hayden Peak, the east side of which is only accessible by access via a couple of non-motorized trails, one of which is an easement.

    Thus, the point is we have tons of land for quiet use. Sure, let’s add some more. But is there a stopping point? And if so, is anyone willing to name it?

    What I’d like to see from any organization that seeks to divide our lands by user group is a master plan, with a commitment that after that plan is achieved they’d disband. Everyone including USFS could then debate/modify the plan knowing it was more of a potential done deal rather than the “creeping get our way” effect that’s becoming quite annoying out here in the West, no matter what side of things you’re on.

    Of course, once an organization gets funded and has paid staff, it would be a miracle akin to spiritual healing for them to dissolve. But then, miracle cures do happen.

  11. Lou November 5th, 2009 6:24 pm

    Le Pistoir , that’s pretty much the plan! No need for the gym at this early date, I’d probably just get an overuse injury… Am up to 70 minutes of continuous lap swimming 4 days a week, with hikes and bike rides filling in, also physical labor around WildSnow HQ for strength. Am ramping up the leg stuff a bit, but dealing with a low grade injury that is persistent so that makes it difficult as the longer I stay off total leg workouts the better the injury gets, so it’s kinda down to the wire. I was actually dealing with the injury all last winter and managed to do ok and get pretty fit, it’s better now, so even if I have to deal with it again things should do fine. I’m not the first guy to take a less than perfect cuerpo up to the mountains, that’s for sure.

  12. Matt Kinney November 5th, 2009 7:07 pm

    70 minutes!! gads….I just finished my 5th 30 minute session of lap swimming. Aiming for 3X a week along with hard skinning once thing fill in a bit. I consider myself pretty fit for being fifty-ish, but its been decades since I swam, so it will take some time to get the strokes and breathing right. Wonderfull pool here only a block away. Powerfull stuff and hope to work first toward a non-stop 30 minutes as my frst goal then go from there. Sure feels good on the knees and a sticky shoulder. I seem to be improving each session connecting multiple laps. Tks lou as your pool efforts have motivated me to x-train for longevity purposes regarding….skinning. 🙂

    I think XC skiing, swimming and then jump rope are the top three cardio excercises. Wrestling burns the most energy in the shortest amount of time but I’m too old to mess with that. Not so much into “fitness centers” as they are “busy”. with too many options………and they cost $$$. Our pool is free as are the mountain for skinning.

    Skiing and swimming are pretty mellow and the rope work can be done anywhere.

  13. Lou November 5th, 2009 7:16 pm

    One word, manimal. :angel:

  14. Lou November 5th, 2009 7:17 pm

    Main thing with fitness center, bring your hand sanitizer.

  15. chris davenport November 5th, 2009 7:59 pm

    The best training for skiing is…. drumroll….skiing! Now pulling a 50 pound sled is another thing. Lt’s do some big tours before your AK trip!

  16. Randonnee November 5th, 2009 8:13 pm

    The example of limiting snowmobiles at Yellowstone to 318 daily- and guided- is an example of supremely asinine knee-jerk illogical bureaucracy . If such makes sense, then the non-snow season should also be limited imited to 318 cars- with guides! Or perhaps only allow those in a Prius to drive through Yellowstone? SO vehicles with gas-burning motors are so bad (?), imagine the huge impact of 318 horses per day allowed into Yellowstone. Internal combustion engines have given us this great standard of living and travel opportunities.

    Some of this stuff is just crazy and the advocacy to limit public access is so dishonest in some ways. The famous example to justify snowmobile limits is the discussion of the cloud of blue smoke around the Ranger hut. So the only solution is to limit access to 318 snomos per day? An intelligent person with any integrity would call that crazy.

    The middle class folks and families will be shut out first, since those with greater disposable income will pay dearly for the limited opportunities to recreate with a guided snowmobile or snow cat excursion, or a hut trip.

    The elitist lobbyists against public use will have slick campaigns about saving the furry critters or some ecosystem drivel. Sadly, many folks in the general public are unaware of the true state of things in our public lands, and sometimes succumb to the slick messages.

  17. Lou November 5th, 2009 8:24 pm

    Chris you’re of course right, to an extent. The problem is overuse injury from doing too much specific training. I’ve dealt with that all my life, be it rock climbing or mountain bike racing. Really tough to find the balance at times, especially as you get older. My strategy now is to spend a lot more time cross training, even though it involves some stuff I don’t enjoy that much, such as, swimming.

  18. Clyde November 5th, 2009 9:01 pm

    Lou, might I humbly suggest that you split out a training topics from this one because there are two entirely different discussions going on.

    Abbreviated fitness points: referenced news series = uneducated writer gets free ride and could do equally well without the outdated testing. Skiing is the best training for skiing = terrible advice for most. Crossfit = over-hyped, under-achievement, future injuries. Twight’s Extreme book = good for it’s time, badly dated. Swimming = not bad but lots of other alternatives. Anyone who mentions lactate tolerance, Tabata, or functional = a decade behind. Anyone who mentions kettlebells, pilates, or core = fad follower who has much to learn. I could write a book about this stuff…oh yeah, already did, twice 😎

  19. Randonnee November 5th, 2009 9:07 pm

    Question for Mark Menlove. How does WWA stand on the issues surrounding Mountain Caribou in the Selkirks? Will WWA support restricting all access of non-motorized users that may upset those critters? Or will WWA just continue to lobby to restrict snowmobiles in the Selkirks?

  20. Mark November 6th, 2009 12:13 am

    Mark Twight’s book Extreme Alpinism highlights training and diet detail to a practically molecular level, if anyone’s interested.

  21. Lou November 6th, 2009 7:25 am

    Clyde, good point. I probably blew it by doing one of my way-too-lengthy news roundups. But you know how it is, you get writing and… I’ll work on doing a split, but it’s a bit time consuming and I’m maxed out, so we’ll see.

    Meanwhile, don’t be shy about a bit of ye olde self promotion.

    Here is a WildSnow affiliate link to your book about training. But you’re welcome to just fire a text link back to your own website now and then, as we all value your contribution here.

    Climbing: Training for Peak Performance

  22. Lou November 6th, 2009 7:33 am

    Someone at WRFA pointed my attention to the James Peak Protection Area here in Colorado, a non-Wilderness recreation friendly land designation that’s still oriented to conservation. Interesting.—l000-.html

  23. OLDDUDE November 6th, 2009 10:08 am

    Lou is too nice to say that he has been doing this sh–t most of his life and doesnt need a bunch of over sold “new methods”. Some things I experimented with last year that I think might be useful, which you have already recognized to some degree, is some shorter duration-higher intensity stuff.Despite my first sentence there is some interesting changes happening in the fitness industry that are worth keepin up with. Unfortunely these days everything gets branded and oversold. Us twilighters need to work on strength, proper movement patterns, and yes the mental stuff(GETTING OLD AND BEAT UP IS DEPRESSING). We need to remember that we have been doing this stuff a long time and have alot of knowledge but on occassion we should check our safety badge for over-exposure to our own BS. Just my poorly organized two cents worth.

  24. Lou November 6th, 2009 10:21 am

    LOL, over exposure to my own BS? That is being a pro blogger in a nutshell!

  25. Njord November 6th, 2009 10:36 am

    Back to the Wilderness debate: No one has been able to adequately explain to me what is wrong/terrible with the current Wilderness/Travel Management plan in the WRNF.

    Honestly, what is so wrong with what we have now that we have this insatiable urge to muck it up??????


  26. Dostie November 6th, 2009 10:46 am

    re: Swimming. You’re right Clyde, there are many alternatives, but few that provide the wealth of benefits that swimming does. Not only does it maintain cardiovascular conditioning for the WHOLE body, but it does so with little to no impact on the joints. It tends to loosen muscles and joints that other activities tighten. Those of us (skiers & riders that is) who regularly swim at the pool here in Truckee have noticed two things over time. 1) The regular swimmers tend to have fewer injuries, and 2) injured skiers usually end up at the pool for their rehab.

    Conclusion? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Swimming rocks for staying in shape.

  27. Mark Menlove November 6th, 2009 10:54 am

    Hey Lou,
    I hear what you’re saying about balkanizing public lands, but the alternative — a free-for-all approach of promoting all uses in all places just doesn’t work. The fact is, different user groups do have different needs and wants and, to my mind, the best way to accommodate those different needs is a balanced approach that takes into account different uses as well as the need to protect healthy ecosystems and wildlife habitat and then designates appropriate zones.
    I fully agree with two points you make: the need for all backcountry recreation users to come to the table and figure out workable solutions, and the need for a master plan that puts those solutions in motion and keeps them in context with the overall landscape.
    As to your question of whether WWA will disband once we achieve some semblance of balance in the backcountry, I’d be delighted to work myself out of a job. We’re very close to that on a few forests although the system we have — that mandates each forest revisit their management plans every 10 to 15 years — isn’t conducive to anyone resting on their laurels. Any good nonprofit should re-evaluate on a regular basis whether there is still a need for their work — WWA certainly does. I don’t think I’ll take up golf quite yet, but yes, on behalf of WWA, you have my commitment to disband once we achieve our mission.

  28. SB November 6th, 2009 11:19 am


    What is wrong with pilates? What do you recommend as an alternative?

    I’ve found it useful going to a class if for no other reason than it forces me to do an hour a week of core work which I, frankly, don’t have the will power to do otherwise.

  29. Cory November 6th, 2009 11:47 am

    When it comes to wilderness, people seem to take regulations as an attempt to keep them out. It is not. It is an attempt to keep equipment out.

  30. Matt November 6th, 2009 11:56 am

    I’m not a fan of swimming so I won’t be doing it regardless of it’s benefits but I’m wondering how it can be better for ski training than an activity where the athlete is supporting their own bodyweight? Isn’t impact on joints beneficial for bone density? There was a recent article on Velonews about cycling and it’s low impact nature, having a negative influence on bone density.
    Dostie, perhaps you’re noticing the swimmers having lowers rates of injuries because they are doing something other than skiing and mixing things up to work different body parts rather than the swimming itself reducing the rate of injuries. Correlation not causation?

  31. Lou November 6th, 2009 1:29 pm

    Mark, I agree we might need some more recreation use divisions of our non-wilderness land, but not much, and doing so is dangerous as who’s to say that trend won’t make it okay to restrict every type of recreation to its own special area. That’s already happened on Vail Pass, and it bummed me out to no end to see the “No Skiers” sign on a route I wanted to use. Thanks for the help -not.

    As for the absolute either/or of more regulation vs freeforall, that’s where you’re wrong in my opinion. There is NO motorized or recreation freeforall on our public lands around here. Everything is already regulated. Folks who are anti recreation of various sorts constantly come up with this theory that our non-wilderness land is somehow overrun by maniacs. If you get your feet on your ground in the White River NF, you’ll find the opposite to almost always be the case (if once does more than bicycle or walk our minimal backcountry road mileage, that is). That’s not saying we shouldn’t get this snowmobile poaching under control, but this constant push to restrict restrict restrict is just getting tiresome. How about SOMEONE works on enforcing our existing laws and travel management plan? And I mean do more than posting signs on Vail Pass…

    Also, the wildlife card is dangerous to all of us. I wish you guys wouldn’t play it. Why? Once we get rid of the snowmobiles, hikers and backcountry skiers are next. Ask any wildlife biologist. Hardcore wildlife advocates, when they’re honest, will just tell you that getting rid of ALL humans in wildlife habitat is the best for the wildlife. Just the dog problem alone is WAY more impactful to wildlife than snowmobiles. Around here, large animals are mostly gone from snowmobile zones in winter, and the small animals are almost all hibernating. Go hiking in summer, bring your dog, and your sphere of influence is HUGE. Or go backcountry skiing, and what animals are around are just a skittish as when they see a snowmobile — according to some studies even more so (the theory is they don’t know how to react to a snowmobile or car, but they sure know what a standing human is.) We need to look at facts, not just get into this pigeon holing based on our feelings about engines.

  32. Njord November 6th, 2009 2:29 pm

    I’m with Lou… there is tons of poaching going on! Creating more regulations is only going to stop the law-abiding folks out there and nothing for the ne’er-do-wells that take their machines into non-motorized lands.


    Also, just because the land is NOT Wilderness does not mean that motorized vehicles allowed to use it. There are tons of non-motorized non-wilderness areas in the WRNF!

  33. Frank Konsella November 6th, 2009 2:29 pm

    Just to re-iterate what Lou said above re: the effects on animals by snowmobiles and people on foot. Granted, I took this from a snowmobile advocacy website (, but it’s still university studies. I know that if someone quietly sneeks up on me and yells “Boo!” I’m more like ly scared than if someone is yelling “Boo!” every second from a mile away as they walk towards me. See Below:

    Dr. Andres Soom participated in the University of Wisconsin’s comprehensive three-year study on the effects of snowmobile sound levels on deer and cottontail rabbits. His report entitled Emission, Propagation and Environmental Impact of Noise from Snowmobile Operations, concluded that “only minor reactions were noted in the movements of cottontail rabbits and white tailed deer to moderate and intensive snowmobiling activity.” He stated that it had not been possible to determine sound levels at which there is a clear reaction on the part of the deer “because snowmobiles must be so close to deer to generate the higher levels that other factors such as visible presence… are likely to be more important.”

    The Wisconsin study also compared the reaction of deer to the presence of cross-country skiers. When cross-country skiers replaced snowmobiles on the test trail systems, the deer moved away from the trail more frequently. A three-year study, Response of White-Tailed Deer to Snowmobiles and Snowmobile Trails in Maine, conducted by wildlife scientists for the Maine Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, revealed that:
    “Deer consistently bedded near snowmobile trails and fed along them even when those trails were used for snowmobiling several times daily. In addition, fresh deer tracks were repeatedly observed on snowmobile trails shortly after machines had passed by, indicating that deer were not driven from the vicinity of these trails… The reaction of deer to a man walking differed markedly from their reaction to a man on a snowmobile… This decided tendency of deer to run with the approach of a human on foot, in contrast to their tendency to stay in sight when approached by a snowmobiler, suggests that the deer responded to the machine and not to the person riding it.”

    In a study entitled Snow Machine Use and Deer in Rob Brook, conducted by the Forest Wildlife Biologist of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, snowmobile operations and deer movement were monitored. A summary of the study indicated that deer travel patterns were not affected by periodically heavy snowmobile use. In addition, continued use of established snowmobile trails was recommended.

    The University of Minnesota issued a study by Michael J. Dorrance entitled Effects of Snowmobiles on White Tailed Deer which found no meaningful difference in the deer’s home range during periods of snowmobile use and non-use.

    Addressing the subject of snowmobile operations in Yellowstone National Park, Jack Anderson, a former Superintendent of Yellowstone commented:

    “We found that elk, bison, moose, even the fawns, wouldn’t move away unless a machine was stopped and a person started walking. As long as you stayed on the machine and the machine was running, they never paid any attention. If you stopped the machine, got off and started moving, that was a different story. The thing that seemed to be disturbing to them was a man walking on foot.”

  34. Lou November 6th, 2009 3:23 pm

    Basic evolutionary biology. Good to see it put in words so well Frank, and what’s in the study has indeed been mine and many other people’s experience. Main point? I wish the anti snowmobile folks would quit talking about wildlife, because when the searchlight swings to us, after the snowmobiles are gone, then yikes!

  35. Randonnee November 6th, 2009 3:28 pm

    Similarity to gun control advocacy? Antis get motivated to ban something based on illegal use. None of us condone snowmobile poaching in Wilderness or non-Wilderness. Improper snomo-use is unacceptable to this snomo-user, and I have worked to prevent it with my advocacy and labor in order to protect non-motorized areas.

    Lou is right-on, prohibiting access for species protection to motorized or non-motorized users goes hand in hand. Many of us have witnessed even pedestrians prohibited from too many areas of our public lands!

  36. Randonnee November 6th, 2009 3:46 pm

    This WWA website “Snowpack Initiative” verbage illustrates the rich topic :blink: that Lou introduced here-

    “Human-powered winter sports can be seen as climate change “indicator activities” because we, are some of the first to experience the impacts of climate change on our public lands. Declining snowpack shortens ski and snowshoe seasons. Climate change can degrade limit, and in some cases eliminate opportunities for winter recreation.”

    Perfect logic? Somehow non-human-powered winter sports would not be affected by less snow? “Indicator activities.” 😆

    We have seen biologic nonsense before. For example, the use of the Spotted Owl theories stopped most logging on WA Federal Lands. Surveys have found large numbers of this critter, studies show other causes of decline, such as competing owls, yet logging remains shut down largely. Not to say that controlling some of the excess logging was bad, but the extreme result is now a bad situation.

    Similarly the same forces, if given the chance and helped by WWA and others, will not blink at prohibiting us from any activities that cause snow compaction.

    This GW thing is the newest, biggest idea to gain even more political control to save the critters at the expense of mankind. Believe it, sadly much of this advocacy quickly becomes anti-human.

  37. Cory November 6th, 2009 4:22 pm

    New technologies are the issue. Take the second amendment for instance. We have the right to bear arms, but I don’t think the forefathers could have imagined nuclear arms. So, as new technology came out they had to re-evaluate and look at the intent of the law.
    Same thing with conserving public lands. Originally, they didn’t have to worry about mountain bikes, snowmobiles, atv’s, helicopters, etc. because they didn’t exist. Now, as they become more prevailent, they must address the issue.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version